We’ve got a lot of noir, and a lot of it is great, this New Comic Book Day. So, what took No. 1?
1) The Violent #2
Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham deliver a tremendous, melancholy noir. Brisson pulls off the delicate balancing act of having sympathetic people do terrible things and still keep them relatable, while Gorham manages to capture the vast tragedy that can be contained in small events. This noir has become a must-read in just two issues, and a great feather in Image’s cap.
2) Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1
Megalopolis was the safest place in the world, bright and clean, full of superheroes to save the day. Then they all became homicidal maniacs and started murdering anybody they felt like. A handful of survivors escaped, and are trying to keep it together, but, of course, they have to go back for one of their own. Gail Simone and J. Calafiore team up once again to deliver a smart, gritty, scary story that’s worth picking up even if you didn’t read the original.
3) Descender #9
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen are firing on all cylinders with this space opera. Nguyen’s delicate, beautiful watercolor work in particular gives this book a unique feel, even as Lemire spins a complicated plot with a simple emotional core of friendship and longing. A beautiful SF book, and a must-read for fans of the genre.
4) Rebels #10
Imagine for a moment you’re a man who’s never left his home city, forced into service for your government and sent to a strange land where everyone wants to kill you, and you don’t even get a decent paycheck out of the deal. Welcome to the wonderful world of a British redcoat in the American Revolution, which Brian Wood and Tristan Jones explore with surprising warmth and humanism. Once again, this book delivers smart historical fiction in an era we too often romanticize, and it’s a must-read.
5) Scarlet Witch #2
Marco Rudy is the real star of this book: His abstract, supple layouts and Eurocomic color stylings make this one of the most beautiful books on the stands this week. James Robinson’s script isn’t quite up to Rudy’s art, although he makes clever use of a Marvel trivia question, and Wanda’s internal struggles are fascinating. But man, that art is so good you’ll barely notice.